Sunday, July 22, 2012

Surprises -- some good, one bad

The last two days have been delightful.  Dry, sunny, cooler.  The all day drizzle and half inch of rain made things look better, and the temps have been in the 80s, but it's been pleasant.

Even though we got a little rain two days ago, the soil is still powder dry just below the surface.  I moved the 'Nicky' phlox from the gravel garden, where it was crowded, to the empty spot in the middle of the Birch Garden, and when I dug up the tall, shallow rooted plants, the ground was dusty dry.

Don't the vivid magenta pink phlox look great out there?  They do fill the empty middle, and I have always fretted over the lack of color in this garden once summer hits.

They were too crowded, and were crowding other plants by the gravel garden.  This was too much.

They've turned out to be great plants --- a surprise.  I didn't expect much when I stuck them in last year.  They turned out to be tall, mildew free, sturdy, and real flower machines.  The color is strong, but I like it better out in the distance than I did up close.

The canna has also surprised me.  It's a gorgeous focal point at the back end of the gravel garden. And . . .

. . . . it's blooming.  It has a tall spike of vivd orange lily flowers, and it goes beautifully with the orange of the nasturtiums snaking along the edge of the gravel.  What a surprise.

The following surprise is not so welcome.  The poor benighted katsura tree is girdled.  The bark has come away from the trunk.  It survived deer rubbing, stripping of its branches in the October snowstorm, and now it just isn't going to survive.

Like the linden tree from a few years ago, the bark is actually separated all the way around, even where it still looks like there is a shield of bark.  But I can put my finger in all the way around, it is not attached.

The tree will die.  It still has leaves, although it is not looking robust.  I will need to replace it.  This is so discouraging.  It had been growing quite fast.  I need an anchor and some shade in that spot to the east of the house.  I'd like to replace it with another katsura.